A false choice
Here is one example of the false way the various bin Laden death controversies have been framed. On the death photo, the debate has been stated like this: “Should we or should we not release a photograph of a dead man with his brains oozing out of the side of his head?” Then lots of pro and con arguments follow. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that we weren’t limited to this choice. Bin Laden’s body was cleaned up before he was buried at sea. Photos of the cleaned-up corpse could have been taken, and those photos could have been released. The entire debate about showing bin Laden’s mangled face, versus not showing his face at all, was not necessary. But by stating the issue in this misleading manner, Obama gave himself an excuse for not releasing any photos.
Personally, I think that both the initial, bloody photos of the dead bin Laden and the photos of the cleaned up bin Laden should have been released. But for those hung up on the supposed trauma or danger of showing the bloody photos, there was, or could have been, the simple solution described above. Yet everyone has mindlessly accepted the false choice presented by the White House, and carried on the debate within the terms of that false choice.
Mark A. writes:
Why was it such a simple chore for the Bush administration to release photos of Saddam’s dead sons, Uday and Qusay, after the Arab world doubted their death? After all, they were killed with a TOW anti-tank missile no less! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BGM-71_TOW Those pictures were surely more gruesome than a pistol or rifle wound. I would imagine it took the coroners many hours and many tubs of glue to put those men back together for the photos. However, after that was done, the photos calmed the Iraqi populace who did not believe that they were dead.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 07, 2011 09:14 AM | Send